A blade and dudgeon gouts of blood… It is the bloody business

‘Bad Blood’ by Heather Atkinson

Also featuring on ‘Bad Blood’ on their blogs today are Donna’s Book Blog and Baker’s Not So Secret Blog

If you can’t trust your family, who can you trust…?

Glasgow gangster Jamie Gray and his fellow Blood Brothers rule the Gallowburn Estate with an iron fist. No one messes around on their turf without consequences. 

But when Jamie’s erstwhile dad, Jason Gray, reappears after many years away – some of them spent behind bars – the Blood Brothers are drawn into the murky and dangerous world of the toughest gangster of them all – The Queen of Glasgow, Toni McVay.  

Toni is the head of the most powerful organised crime family in Scotland and, as the psychotic leader enjoys scooping out the eyeballs of those who displease her, Jamie has no option but to do her bidding.
 
With the love of his life Allegra still missing, his enemies closing in, and his family’s safety at risk, Jamie Gray faces the battle of his life.  But with his father’s bad blood running through his veins, and the bravery and brains he has inherited from his mother Jackie, Jamie has all the tools he needs to survive.

When I wrote about Heather Atkinson’s first instalment in the Gallowburn series, ‘Blood Brothers’, last year, I pointed out that Scotland is “a country of contrasts.”

I felt that Atkinson displayed “an unpatronising affection for her street level protagonists. The characters are rendered as fully rounded humans with clear motivations and driving ambitions.”

It is my contention that these strengths continue in the sequel, ‘Bad Blood’. Here, from the opening assault of the first page – literally for some unruly locals, metaphorically for the reader – this is a visceral Scotland, with knee cappings, chains to the face and screwdriver-wielding toughs.

In fact, so tough is the environment, I kept expecting them to break out in Macbeth quotes, “But I am faint, my gashes cry for help,” said the ned as Jamie told the interlopers to fuck off.

“Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood/Clean from my hand?” said Logan as he paused to scoop up the baseball bat studded with nails.

“Out, damned spot! Out, I say! . . . who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him,” said Digger as he wrestled with his conscience before returning to mock Jamie for being in love with a vicar.

Now, there’s a mash up I’d love to see!

Until then I shall continue to the enjoy the safe pair of hands which is Heather Atkinson with her fast paced plotting, exciting action sequences and realistically rendered locations.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3bT43dH

Author Bio:

Heather Atkinson is the author of over fifty books – predominantly in the crime fiction genre.  Although Lancashire born and bred she now lives with her family, including twin teenage daughters, on the beautiful west coast of Scotland.   Her new gangland series for Boldwood, set on the fictional Gallowburn estate in Glasgow began with Blood Brothers in December 2020.

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/booksofheatheratkinson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeatherAtkinso1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heathercrimeauthor/

Newsletter Sign Up Link: http://bit.ly/HeatherAtkinsonNewsletter

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/heather-atkinson

Boulangeries, Bodies and Widowhood

‘Body on the Rocks’ Rachel Green

Mourning the death of her police inspector husband, Margot Renard moves to a small seaside town in the south of France. But when the body of a small boy washes up on a beach, Margot is drawn into a dangerous world of drug smugglers and people trafficking, and forced to cross paths with two feuding gangsters.

Other people on the tour today include Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers and Westveil Publishing

It is pretty exciting in the week that the ‘Friends’ reunion has dominated social media and TV, to get a novel from the pseudonymous pen of a Rachel Green – although, presumably this one still has her original face.

What we have in this novel is Book One in a series – Book Two is already available, as is a short story when you visit Green’s website – featuring Madam Renard.

Relocating from Paris to the Mediterranean town of Argents-sur-Mer, the recently widowed Renard is soon investigating the dark undercurrents of the pretty surface of rural France.

This is a novel bathed in melancholy – there certainly seems to be overtones of the awful Alan Kurdi case in the set up – and Green is willing to delve into the unpalatable attitudes of some of the locals. This sadness is reinforced by the way that the character of Renard is still processing the life she was going to live with her husband in their rural escape, a future now snatched away from her.

Green is clearly an accomplished writer. She is alert to colour and the subtleties and nuance of people’s movements and, always a big bonus for me, her dialogue has the snap and sparkle of real people.

Overall, this is moving, novel as bathed in the ambience of France as an oven fresh croissant with a piping hot coffee accompaniment. I look forward to reading Book Two. Bravo!

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Body-Rocks-France-Madame-Investigates-ebook/dp/B08X1GJ9GX

US –  https://www.amazon.com/Body-Rocks-France-Madame-Investigates-ebook/dp/B08X1GJ9GX

Author Bio – Rachel Green is the pen name of a writer from the UK. Rachel has twice been longlisted for both the Bath Novel Award and the BPA First Novel Award, as well as being on the shortlist for the Capital Crime New Voices Award. Rachel lives in a tiny village in England, but travels frequently to the south of France where the stories from the Madame Renard Investigates series are set.

Social Media Links – Twitter: @AuthorRachelG  Facebook: AuthorRachelG

And Then There Were Five Trapped on a Creepy Island

‘Buried For Good’ by Alex Coombs

On a remote island, everyone is a suspect…

When Private Investigator Hanlon is hired to protect famous yoga instructor Camille Anderson on her Scottish island retreat, she thinks this may be her simplest job yet.


But when an attack on Camille’s life goes wrong, it soon becomes clear that there is a murderer on the island – and Hanlon will stop at nothing to track them down.

With only a small group of guests the suspects are clear, but as the body count rises Hanlon must step up to find out who the killer is before it’s too late…

A tense, atmospheric page-turner from Alex Coombs. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Lisa Regan.

Last year, I wrote that Alex Coombs’ first outing in the Hanlon series, ‘Missing for Good’ was “a rattling good read, sprinting along with enjoyable gusto and building to a satisfying crescendo.”

I liked the eye for detail that Coombs displayed and those tensions between areas – Hanlon’s Argyll base contrasting with the pretentions of Edinburgh’s art world and Glasgow’s rougher edges.

In ‘Buried for Good’ Hanlon is back in fine form. Some of the clunkier aspects of the dialogue are absent here (although all writers should immediately exorcise the phrase “as you know” from their work forthwith – you hear me Mercurio?)

Here Hanlon is on a mission to protect a yoga teacher-cum-social media influencer who has been receiving threatening messages and our fearless detective must join a retreat on a remote Scottish island.

So far, so Agatha Christie – remote, cut off location? Check. Limited cast of characters, to whom bad things are going to happen? Check. Storm clouds – literal and metaphorical – gathering? Check and double check.

It is not a sophisticated formula, but it is certainly an effective one. Coombs is a writer who moves things along making the readers cheer on our emotionally fragile heroine as she scraps away at the darker sides of life.

This is another fast, paced engaging read from a seriously talented storyteller. Once the elements are all lined up, Coombs lets the spiralling mayhem rip in accomplished fashion. Another highly recommended outing for Hanlon, PI.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3jQVGBS

Author Bio –

Alex Coombs studied Arabic at Oxford and Edinburgh Universities and went on to work in adult education and then retrained to be a chef. He is the author of the highly acclaimed DCI Hanlon series.

Social Media Links –

Newsletter sign up: http://bit.ly/AlexCoombsNewsletter

Website – http://www.alexcoombs.co.uk/

Twitter https://twitter.com/AlexCoombsCrime

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AlexCoombsCrime

Just Between Us.. COVER REVEAL

Between You and Me by Carol Mason

Is her new husband really who she thinks he is?

When young doctor Lauren Matheson meets Joe, an older divorced businessman, at a glittering poolside in California, it’s a chance encounter that seems life-changing for them both. Back home in London, their feelings only strengthen. But Lauren soon discovers that building a happy future with Joe is going to be an uphill struggle…

She’s determined to be a good stepmother to his children, four-year-old Toby and complicated teen Grace. But under the watchful eye of Meredith, Joe’s intimidating ex-wife, Lauren can’t seem to do a thing right. Why won’t Joe ever take her side against Grace? And what really happened between him and Meredith?

As her husband retreats into a cold, secretive version of the dashing man she met in California, Lauren starts to wonder if she’s made a costly mistake. Was Joe ever the man she thought she married?

REVEALED! The cover of Carol Mason’s new novel, ‘Between You and Me’

Pre-order Link – https://amzn.to/2Pu9BCM

Publication Date – 22nd June 2021

Author Carol Mason

Author Bio –  Carol Mason is the Amazon Charts and Kindle #1 bestselling author After You Left (more than 300,000 copies sold), The Secrets of Married Women, The Last Time We Met, The Shadow Between Us, Send Me A Lover and Little White Secrets which hit the Bookstat digital bestsellers list top 3 in the week of its launch. She was born in the North East of England where most of her novels are set. She now lives in Canada with her Canadian husband, a rescue dog from Kuwait and a three-legged cat. When not writing, Carol loves to read, cook and binge watch Netflix.

Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/CarolMasonAuthor

https://www.instagram.com/carolmasonauthor/

Stormy Weather – Placid Read

‘After The Storm‘ by Isabella Muir

See what others made of ‘After the Storm’ today in Louise’s Reading Corner http://louisesreadingcorner.com/

When a violent storm blasts England’s south coast, it’s up to retired Italian detective Giuseppe Bianchi to sift through the devastation and piece together the tragic events left behind in the storm’s wake.

Giuseppe Bianchi’s brief visit to Bexhill-on-Sea has become an extended stay. He is loath to return to his home in Rome because of the haunting images that made him leave in the first place.

During his morning walks along the seafront with Beagle, Max, he meets Edward Swain, who becomes Giuseppe’s walking companion. They form a friendship of sorts and find they have a similar outlook on life.

But the devastating events of a single night lead Giuseppe to question the truth about Edward Swain. Teaming up with young journalist, Christina Rossi – his cousin’s daughter – Giuseppe learns about the brutal reality lurking behind the day-to-day life of families in the local community. And as the story unravels Giuseppe is reminded how anger and revenge can lead to the most dreadful of crimes.

‘After the Storm’ is the second novel in the Giuseppe Bianchi mystery series – the much awaited sequel to Crossing the Line.

Grab your copy today and enjoy the intrigue of traditional English mystery, cleverly combined with a continental twist.

I’m beginning to think of Isabella Muir as some sort of old friend. I have previously reviewed both The Invisible Case, set in fictional Sussex town, Tamarisk Bay, https://pajnewman.com/2021/02/09/aunty-and-niece-on-the-case/ as well as Crossing the Line, the first of a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi based in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, a novel I enjoyed even more than the doings of young librarian sleuth Janie Juke. https://pajnewman.com/2021/03/08/the-line-is-a-dot-to-you/

Here Bianchi is still in Sussex and now investigating the dark hearts of Sussex’s inhabitants, all the while that a brutal storm surges across the South Coast.

Muirhas a lovely protagonist in Bianchi. A conflicted man with a troubled past, his uneasy relationship with his brother, the charming interaction with his reporter niece all make him a charming companion as he works through his latest investigation.

Isabella Muir conjures the period setting of Sussex and it’s movement towards modernity with clarity and poise and – for anyone who likes Dorothy L Sawyer and Agatha Christie – or even more modern writers such as Donna Leon – they will not be disappointed.

Purchase Links

UK –  https://www.amazon.co.uk/After-Storm-Giuseppe-Bianchi-mystery-ebook/dp/B08P534Y2K 

US –  https://www.amazon.com/After-Storm-Giuseppe-Bianchi-mystery-ebook/dp/B08P534Y2K

Author Bio –

Isabella is never happier than when she is immersing herself in the sights, sounds and experiences of the 1960s. Researching all aspects of family life back then formed the perfect launch pad for her works of fiction. Isabella rediscovered her love of writing fiction during two happy years working on and completing her MA in Professional Writing and since then she has gone on to publish six novels, three novellas and two short story collections.

Her latest novel, After the Storm, is the second novel in a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi who is escaping from tragedy in Rome, only to arrive in the quiet seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, to come face-to-face with it once more.

Her first Sussex Crime Mystery series features young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke. Set in the late 1960s, in the fictional seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, we meet Janie, who looks after the mobile library. She is an avid lover of Agatha Christie stories – in particular Hercule Poirot. Janie uses all she has learned from the Queen of Crime to help solve crimes and mysteries. As well as three novels, there are three novellas in the series, which explore some of the back story to the Tamarisk Bay characters.

Isabella’s standalone novel, The Forgotten Children, deals with the emotive subject of the child migrants who were sent to Australia – again focusing on family life in the 1960s, when the child migrant policy was still in force.

Social Media Links

https://isabellamuir.com

https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMuirAuthor

Blood Loss is the Reader’s Gain

Blood Loss by Kerena Swan

See what others think about ‘Blood Loss’ over at http://www.bforbookreview.worpress.com and https://www.instagram.com/karenandherbooks

Sarah

With one eye on the rear view mirror and the other on the road ahead, Sarah is desperate to get as far away from the remote Scottish cabin as she can without attracting attention. But being inconspicuous isn’t easy with a black eye and clothes soaked in blood…

… and now the fuel tank is empty.

DI Paton

When a body is discovered in a remote cabin in Scotland, DI Paton feels a pang of guilt as he wonders if this is the career break he has been waiting for. But the victim is unidentifiable and the killer has left few clues.

Jenna

With the death of her father and her mother’s failing health, Jenna accepts her future plans must change but nothing can prepare her for the trauma yet to come.

Fleeing south to rebuild her life Sarah uncovers long-hidden family secrets. Determined to get back what she believes is rightfully hers, Sarah thinks her future looks brighter. But Paton is still pursuing her…

… and he’s getting closer.

Kerena Swan’s brilliant novel explores how honest mistakes and human frailty can have terrifying and long-reaching consequences. It’s a tale of family ties and loyalty, revenge and redemption that you won’t want to put down.

Kerena Swan’s novel, ‘Blood Loss’ is something of a strange beast. To be honest, it sort of shouldn’t work.

It has a narrative split between Sarah, a woman from a difficult background fleeing a traumatic incident, Jenna, a trustafarian with a ghastly sister and DI Paton, a man who has more on his plate than most – a son with Downs Syndrome, a wife with cripplingly depression rendering her a ghost-like figure and an extreme aversion to blood which would make Inspector Morse blush.

That narrative is further fragmented as it jumps in time as well as perspective – the sort of trick which can make reviewers gnash their teeth – you have to have a bloody good reason to ask a reader to want to leap between people, place and time as it can leave your head spinning.

Also, Swan does not do the usual crime writer thing of making the place a character. She has a detective based in Perth – a heartbreakingly pretty, oft-overlooked gem of a small city – and doesn’t really describe the location surrounding it at all: except to say it’s in the highlands. Which it isn’t.

Another writer might have had fun contrasting this semi-rural gem with one of the other locations which is also famous for how it looks… Milton Keynes. Swan does not.

But, do you know what? In a novel as well written as this, it just doesn’t matter. Swan’s goal is to sweep you along and make you want to find out more – how will the murder be solved? Can the relationship between the sisters be healed? Will Sarah be able to make different choices from her Mum rather than be doomed to repeat the cycle?

All of which she does with aplomb. Crime fiction can be leaden with poor dialogue and this is a noteable exception. The characters have individual voices, clear motivations and emotionally resonant wants and needs.

‘Blood Loss’ is a pacey read, skilfully handled by a writer of real breadth, ambition and talent and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

Purchase Links

US – https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Loss-Paton-Investigates-Book-ebook/dp/B08ZLPV615/

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Loss-Paton-Investigates-Book-ebook/dp/B08ZLPV615/

Blood Loss will be just  99p for a limited time only!

About Kerena Swan

We are thrilled to be introducing DI Dave Paton and his son Tommy, the stars of the first novel in Kerena Swan’s new series, to the world. Before coming to Hobeck, Kerena had published three novels, Dying To See YouScared to Breathe and Who’s There? and has built a solid fan base around her writing career thus far. She is a juggler extraordinaire: driving forward a successful care business she runs with her husband yet finding time to write. She loves to write, here and there and everywhere when she’s not working. We don’t know how she does it but we are glad that she does! Kerena talks about her writing, her influences and how she came to Hobeck in this video.

Social Media Links

Website: https://kerenaswan.wordpress.com/   

 Twitter: @kerenaswan

Facebook : @kerenaswan  · Author

Wax On and Get Away

Memoirs of a Karate Fighter by Ralph Robb

Novelist and former karate champion Ralph Robb recounts his experiences at one of Europe’s toughest dojos and provides an insight into the philosophy and training methods of a club which produced national, European and world titleholders. In a hard-hitting story, Ralph tells of the fights on and off the mat; his experiences as one of a very few black residents in an area in which racist members of the National Front were very active; and the tragic descent into mental illness and premature death of the training partner who was also his best friend.

Most readers who pick up this book will, I would guess, be attracted by their memory of The Karate Kid (the proper one with Ralph Macchio  – piss off Jayden Smith) and the 80s karate craze it inspired – admit it you were tempted to paint your father’s fence, or wax his car or catch the flies with chopsticks.

This is not that story. This is a sad book in many ways. Ralph Robb recounts his time in the dojo and is effusive in his praise of the discipline and positives which karate brought into his life.

But it is hard not to see a narrative shot through with injustice, toxic masculinity and societal inequalities which mean that these young men are forced to fight constantly just in order to be left to go about their daily business.

The memoir is littered with racist skin heads targeting Robb and his friends for the colour of their skin or for refusing to rise to the bait while they work on the door of a nightclub. Robb himself risks serious long term health damage because he cannot show weakness to his peers inside the dojo and continues to train with a terrible injury.

All of which made me terribly sad. I would like to think that we have moved on as a society but I fear we really have not. Perhaps the best that can be said is that Ralph Robb is an engaging guide, with a captivating style leading his readers through a Midlands beset with all of the problems we see in society.

And yet, by never losing hope , Robb points a way towards optimism for all his readers and the hope of a better life.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memoirs-Karate-Fighter-Ralph-Robb-ebook/dp/B08X2WB8RT/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Memoirs-Karate-Fighter-Ralph-Robb-ebook/dp/B08X2WB8RT/

Author Bio – Ralph Robb was born and raised in the industrial town of Wolverhampton, England and now lives in Ontario Canada with his wife, cat and dog. A proud father of four, Robb works as an engineering technician and loves rugby, martial arts and a good book. His world is balanced by quality TV, global events, great outdoors and of course his grand-daughter.

Social Media Links –

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RalphRobbBooks

Twitter: @RalphSRobb

Webpage: www.ralphrobb.com

Some Vivid Colours and Intriguing New Cases

Old Cases, New Colours (A Dudley Green Investigation) by Madalyn Morgan

Sick of working in a world of spies and bureaucracy, Ena Green, nee Dudley, leaves the Home Office and starts her own investigating agency.

Working for herself she can choose which investigations to take and, more importantly, which to turn down.

While working on two investigations, Ena is called as a prosecution witness in the Old Bailey trial of a cold-blooded killer who she exposed as a spy the year before.

A lovely little novel for anyone interested in the murky world of London before it began to swing, Madalyn Morgan’s Old Cases, New Colours is positively rooted in its setting.

London here is greys and browns and people not delivering the new office furniture in time. It is a city where people keep petty cash in biscuit tins under the sink and have to cash in both their money and their husband’s to open a detective agency.

Morgan peppers her cast with the sort of bounders, dolly girls and loyal young men from GCHQ which one might expect in a novel of this sort and the plot bounces along pleasingly.

If you were a fan of Channel 4’s television programme Traitors, you like your crime on the hard edged side of cozy and a nice soupcon of espionage mixed into the broth, then you should definitely be uncovering some Old Cases, New Colours.

Purchase Links

UK  – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cases-Colours-Dudley-Investigation-Sisters-ebook/dp/B08Y9887QM/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Cases-Colours-Dudley-Investigation-Sisters-ebook/dp/B08Y9887QM/

Author Bio

I was bought up in a pub in a small market town called Lutterworth. For as long as I can remember, my dream was to be an actress and a writer. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live with so many characters to study and accents to learn. I was offered Crossroads the first time around. However, my mother wanted me to have a ‘proper’ job that I could fall back on if I needed to, so I did a hairdressing apprenticeship. Eight years later, aged twenty-four, I gave up a successful salon and wig-hire business in the theatre for a place at East 15 Drama College and a career as an actress, working in Repertory theatre, the West End, film and television.

      In 1995, with fewer parts for older actresses, I gave up acting. I taught myself to touch-type, completed a two-year correspondence course with The Writer’s Bureau and began writing articles and presenting radio.

    In 2010, after living in London for thirty-six years, I moved back to Lutterworth. I swapped two window boxes and a mortgage for a garden and the freedom to write. Since then, I have written nine novels. The first four, The Dudley Sisters’ Saga, tell the stories of four sisters in World War 2. My current novel, Old Cases, New Colours, is a thriller/detective story set in 1960. I am writing Christmas book – Christmas Applause – and a Memoir; a collection of short stories, articles, poems, photographs and character breakdowns from my days as an actress.

Social Media Links –

Madalyn Morgan’s books- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Madalyn-Morgan/e/B00J7VO9I2

Blog – https://madalynmorgan.wordpress.com/

Facebook – www.facebook.com/madalyn.morgan1

Twitter – www.twitter.com/ActScribblerDJ

Pinterest – www.pinterest.co.uk/madalynmorgan

Instagram – www.instagram.co.uk/madalynmorgan1

No Sleep for the Frantic Nighthawks

‘Nighthawks’ by Lambert Nagle

When art, money and power collide…
A Mafia boss addicted to beautiful art. A Catholic priest who knows too much. A modern-day Jay Gatsby. And a woman on the run.


Disgraced London detective Stephen Connor is given an ultimatum: take a transfer to Rome or kiss his career goodbye.
With his love life in tatters and his confidence at an all-time low, can Stephen find the world’s most valuable painting before it disappears forever?

You know, the only hybrid writing partnership I am aware of having read up to now are the stellar Swedish series of detective novels featuring glum policeman Martin Beck by Maj Sjöwall and ‎Per Wahlöö.

However, based upon ‘Nighthawks’ by Alison Ripley Cubitt and Sean Cubitt this is a model not to be discounted.

A country hopping, international thriller in the style of Daniel Silva, Nagle continent hop from Australia to Rome to… Well, you get the idea.

Cinematic in scope, ambition and execution, ‘Nighthawks’ zips along at a breakneck pace. This is a novel for those who like their action packed and their scenery ever changing.

Purchase Link

https://books2read.com/u/4NXA1W

Author Bio –

Lambert Nagle is the pen-name for Alison Ripley Cubitt and Sean Cubitt, co-writers of international thrillers, mystery and crime. Alison is a former television production executive who worked for Walt Disney and the BBC before pivoting to become a multi-genre author and screenwriter. Her short film drama Waves (with Maciek Pisarek) won the Special Jury Prize, Worldfest, Houston. Sean’s day job is Professor of Film and Television, University of Melbourne, Australia. He writes about film and media for leading academic publishers.

Other titles by Lambert Nagle include Revolution Earth (featuring detective Stephen Connor) and Contained in Capital Crimes, a short story collection from members of ITW (International Thriller Writers) with a foreword by Peter James.

With six passports between them, they set their books in the far-away places they live and work.

Social Media Links –

Website: http://www.lambertnagle.com

Author: Instagram:@alisonripleycubitt

Author page Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alisonripleycubittwriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lambertnagle

The Line is a Dot to You

‘Crossing The Line’ by Isabella Muir

Tragic accident or cold-blooded murder?

Retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi, travels to England to escape one tragic death, when he comes face-to-face with another. When the body of a teenager is found on a Sussex beach, Giuseppe is drawn to the case – a case with no witnesses, and a case about which no one is prepared to talk.

National news reports of a missing 12-year-old in Manchester spark fear across the nation. The phrase “stranger-danger” filters into public consciousness. Local reporter, Christina Rossi, already has concerns about her local community. Families are not as close-knit as they first appear.

As the sea mist drifts in and darkness descends, can Giuseppe and Christina discover the truth and prevent another tragedy?

‘Crossing the Line’ is the perfect listen for everyone who loves Agatha Christie style twists and turns, with a Mediterranean flavour. Imagine the charismatic Italian police series, Montalbano, combined with those TV favourites set in the 1960s – ‘Endeavour’, George Gently, and ‘Call the Midwife’. 

Purchase Link  – http://viewbook.at/CrossingtheLineaudio

I only came across the work of Isabella Muir fairly recently. I wrote positively of the third Sussex Crime Mystery series features young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke. Set in the late 1960s, in the fictional seaside town of Tamarisk Bay. https://pajnewman.com/2021/02/09/aunty-and-niece-on-the-case

However, I have to say, that I think I enjoy this departure, Crossing the Line, the first of a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi based in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, even more than the doings of young Janie Juke.

It may be because I used to live in Hastings and, therefore, know Bexhill-on-Sea quite well. Never discount nostalgia as a reason for liking something (although the sixties had been over for a while before I moved there).

It maybe because Charles Johnston does such a fine job narrating this twisty audiobook, imbuing encounters with a quiet menace and capturing that Agatha Christie-like undercurrents that Isabella Muir writes so well.

Or it might be because, in Giuseppe Bianchi, Muir has created a well-intentioned, quietly dignified and rather charming detective who carries his heavy emotional burden while investigating the shocking death on the seafront.

It might be all three. Whatever, Muir has created a scenario to test her fish out of water detective to the core and this taut tale will engage all readers who like historical fiction, the Golden Age writers and fans of the south east.

I’m already looking forward to the second instalment.

Author Bio

Isabella is never happier than when she is immersing herself in the sights, sounds and experiences of the 1960s. Researching all aspects of family life back then formed the perfect launch pad for her works of fiction. Isabella rediscovered her love of writing fiction during two happy years working on and completing her MA in Professional Writing and since then she has gone on to publish six novels, three novellas and two short story collections.

Her latest novel, Crossing the Line, is the first of a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi who is escaping from tragedy in Rome, only to arrive in the quiet seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, to come face-to-face with it once more.

Her first Sussex Crime Mystery series features young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke. Set in the late 1960s, in the fictional seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, we meet Janie, who looks after the mobile library. She is an avid lover of Agatha Christie stories – in particular Hercule Poirot. Janie uses all she has learned from the Queen of Crime to help solve crimes and mysteries. As well as three novels, there are three novellas in the series, which explore some of the back story to the Tamarisk Bay characters.

Isabella’s standalone novel, The Forgotten Children, deals with the emotive subject of the child migrants who were sent to Australia – again focusing on family life in the 1960s, when the child migrant policy was still in force.

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMuirAuthor